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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 169 (147)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 169
Page 169

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 169

A "Natural" for the Theatre: Plexiglas

The "Plexiglas Theatre" Here Presents What Can Be Done with one New Material

Peacetime reconversion has brought good news to the theatre architect and the stage designer in the release to general industry of the great acrylic plastic of the military worldaPlexiglasik. Although it was actually introduced several years before the outbreak of the war, the structural and decorative possibilities of Plexiglas were only beginning to be realized when the entire output had to be directed to manufacturers of war material.


Under the gruelling demands of air combat in all sorts of weather conditions, Plexiglas established its stability and dependability, fully meriting its reputation as aviationis standard transparent plastic. The superior qualities of Plexiglas were also recognized on the sea%ven under the seaein many applications on boats and submarines. Strength, weather and chemical resistance, light weight and permanent transparency are features

*Trade name, registered with the United States Patent Office, for the acrylic resin the moplastic sheets and molding powders manufactured by Rohm and Haas Company.

RODS OF PLEXIGLAS (left) provide support for trailing vines while serving as a source of light. A concealed fluorescent tube at one edge provides light which is piped by the Plexiglas, to be given out wherever the surface has been roughened or sanded. A stairway (right) is bordered by a sidewall of Plexiglas



which made Plexiglas popular in all branches of the Armed Services.

Ease of Fabrication

These important properties, added to the ease with which Plexiglas can be formed, sawed, drilled, and carved, have taken hold on the fertile imagination of the theatrical designer, who finds Plexiglas one of the most versatile and rewarding materials at his command. Plexiglas is supplied by the manufacturer in sheets of various sizes and thicknesses, and in rods of many diameters; it is available as crystal clear, translucent, or opaque material, either colorless or delicately tinted, or in the rich hues of stained glass. It is light in weight, being less than half as heavy as glass, and yet it is remarkably strong; it Will support a heavy weight, and, in furniture manufacture, it has been found as tough as spruce.

Important for Safety's Sake

Equally important to theatrical architects or designers are the safety fac tors contributed by Plexiglas as a basic material. It is shatter-proof and for practical purposes may be considered unbreakable, for it will withstand tremendous strains. When rigidly held and violently struck, it may break, but then only into large, dull-edged pieces. \ It is an excellent electrical insulator, and is widely used in lamps and electrical appliances. Plexiglas is not fire-proof, but i it is fire-resistant; it is possible to ignite it by direct contact with an open flame, under which circumstances it burns slowly, in the manner of soft wood. Under no circumstances does it flare up, and it cannot be ignited by incandescent or red-hot metals. It is easily kept immaculate and sanitary simply by washing with soap and water. The crystal-like surface brilliance is maintained by such treatment, aided by an occasional waxing with a good paste wax.


Plexiglas has more to offer the modern theatre, perhaps, than any of the other fields of building and decoration in which it is already being widely used.

whose top edge curves into a gleaming hand rail. Sanded strip at the base illuminates the stairs, and etched designs above are picked out in light from the some concealed source. Thus the light-transmitting characteristics of Plexiglas contribute to the safety of these otherwise hazardous locations in the theatre.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 169